Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Chicken Biryani ~ Plain Good Old Fashioned Homestyle Cooking ~ Love this recipe, non rich & just right!

NOTE: I roast all my spices whole, cool and then grind into powder. Really makes a difference. I loved this recipe it is real delish and non rich at all but I felt the rice should be increased by 20 % and the lentils decreased by same. I am revisiting this today. It is such a lovely dish for cold winter weather! Eggs are optional.

  • You can see the lentils is a lot and they definitely need cutting back on by around 20 percent I would say unless you like with lots of lentils

8 chicken thighs
10 ml ginger powder
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 ml chili flakes or dried red crushed chilies
10 ml masala (for chicken)
10 ml cumin powder
15 ml coriander powder
5 ml turmeric powder
4 cardamom seeds (I just use 4 whole pods roasted, seeds removed & pods discarded)
2 cinnamon sticks (cassia bark)
2 bay leaves
1 tomato, finely chopped
250 ml buttermilk or bulgarian yoghurt
15 ml salt
40 ml oil
400 ml rice
500 ml lentils, dried
4 potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
15 ml oil
3 onions, large – sliced
5 ml turmeric dissolved in 500 ml hot water
6 hard boiled eggs (optional)

  • From Sarie magazine – South Africa

Place the chicken thighs in a non metallic container. Mix marinade ingredients together and throw over chicken. Close container and refrigerate 2 – 3 hours. Remove thighs and set aside keeping the marinade. Heat sunflower oil and brown chicken for about 10 minutes. Cook rice 10 minutes, drain. Cook lentils for 20 minutes, drain. Heat oven to 180 °C. Heat 15 ml oil and saute onions until golden brown. Using a casserole or an electric wok pack all the ingredients in forming layers: Begin with a layer rice, followed by lentils, chicken, the marinade, raw potatoes and the onions. Repeat, packing in rest of ingredients. Pour over your dissolved turmeric. Close lid with a layer tinfoil to seal. Place in preheated oven and bake 160 – 180 C for 1 hour 20 minutes or until done. When your chicken and potatoes are done Serve with halved hard boiled eggs if wished.
Tip: You may par-cook your potatoes 15 minutes before layering them into casserole or wok. 

  • Place whole spices on a dinner plate to roast in the microwave - This example was for a curry I made

Garam Masala Recipe: – Best to make just enough fresh for your needs.
90 ml black peppercorns, whole
3 1/2 tablespoons cloves
67.5 ml black cardamom, measured in pods (remove seeds after roasting)
2 tablespoons star anise
30 ml whole cinnamon pieces
4 bay leaves
3 tablespoons cumin
2 mace pieces – optional
1/2 of 1 whole nutmeg, grated 
Remember star anise and cinnamon burn at a faster rate so if doing all together place these on top so they can be removed before they get a chance to burn.
Microwave oven method – Lay all the spices except for mace and nutmeg onto a large dinner plate in 1000 watt microwave and roast on high for four 24 second bursts or until they just release their aroma and are nice and toasty. – Watch carefully! Do not scorch!
Stove method – Dry roast all the spices except for mace in a heavy skillet under medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep watch over the spices carefully.For both methods wait until the spices give off a nice aroma, turn a slight one shade darker and start to crackle – keep covered if adding mustard seed as they will jump out.Cool the spices and then grind with the mace if adding. Use at beginning and toward end of cooking to boost flavors in your curries. Enjoy!